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I Miss Pangea

I can drive: the realization that changed my senior year.

Joey O'Kelly

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Photo by Chrystian Noble

I wish it was still the good ol’ days when it was just one big landmass and I could drive from one end of the land to the other. Unfortunately, the Pangea days are long gone and I’ll have to stick with wherever my Joebaru (yes, I named my car after myself) can drive me.

Though I’ve had my driver’s license since I was 16, I only recently realized I can get in my car and drive wherever I want to go. If I want to forget all of my responsibilities and drive to Phoenix, or to Minneapolis or to Boston, I can. My wanderlust phase has started. This changed the course of my senior year.

I’m not alone in this sudden wanderlust stage. It seems like every conversation I have with my senior friends about our futures ends with “yeah, man, I just can’t wait to get out of here.” In fact, a lot of us are having issues waiting for college. We constantly talk about our dream senior trips, as well as road trips we want to take over the summer.

Instead of doing homework, I like to spend my time looking at flights I can’t afford, going on virtual tours of AirBnB’s I’ll never go to and planning the most efficient routes for road trips I’ll never take. A wise use of my time, I know. But after spending the past year of my life scouting colleges, plus a recent trip to Ireland, I realize there is so much in the world I am yet to discover.

Photo by Mara Fryer

I do love Kansas City. It’s a big city vibe with small town pride, but I’m not naïve enough to believe it’s all there is to the world. With every small trip or vacation I go on, I feel as though I learn something new. When I went to Washington D.C. last summer, I learned the sad realities of gentrification. In Ireland this winter, I learned how everyday people will be negatively affected by Brexit. Even with smaller trips to places like Iowa, I learned how important farmers are to daily life in America.

Because of my travels, I have had the opportunity to see things I wouldn’t be able to see at home; I am so lucky.

My favorite comedian, Trevor Noah, has a fantastic quote about travel.

He says “if there’s one thing you will never waste your money on, it’s traveling… traveling is the antidote to ignorance.”

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I Miss Pangea